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House panel approves amendment that would ban BP from offshore drilling based on record

A House committee wants to put BP in a penalty box of sorts.

The Natural Resources Committee approved an amendment Wednesday that would ban companies with significant workplace safety or environmental violations over the preceding seven years from new offshore drilling permits.

The California Democrat who sponsored the amendment, congressman George Miller, said it was needed to limit drilling to responsible companies. Miller's office said BP's safety violations alone would be enough to disqualify that company.

BP declined to comment on the lawmakers' action.

The amendment has a long way to go before becoming law. It was passed as part of a larger energy bill that the committee was considering Wednesday.

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